Sunday, May 28, 2006

I am a Fish Tycoon!...

Well, not exactly. More like a computer game addict is probably closer to the truth.

Okay, let me back-track just a bit here. Yahoo Games put up this new one about a week and a half ago called Fish Tycoon. You start out getting $300, some fish eggs, free fish food, and two tanks. The object of the game (which is real-time by the way...) is to grow the fishys to adulthood, breed them to make more fishys, and then sell them. Sounds pretty simple...and pretty safe...

But oh, it SO is not.

You have to feed these fish. Cure them of diseases called "ick" and "fungus" (okay...real fish get these things, too...but I don't have "real" fish...I now have "fake" fish). They have babies (after I make them go kissy-kissy in the isolation tank). They get sick for no apparent reason. Oh, did I mention you have to feed them? A lot! Or they die! And that is very sad cuz then you have to put them in the trash can.

It is a very obsessive thing. You can't leave the tank longer than eight-ten hours or else disaster strikes...and every last fish has croaked. Even if the plan is to sell the suckers as soon as they mature, they are still my babies! I don't want any of my babies to crump. I want them to go to nice homes with nice fish-parents who will continue to take most excellent care of them.

I personally believe it is the melodic music that plays every few minutes for the addictive nature of this game. It sucks you in. Even when it becomes VERY annoying, it is there to remind you that you have responsibilities. Helpless fishys are waiting for you to feed them, force them into having sex for the purpose of bearing children (these guys are both male and female depending on the need...), medicate them, sell them to the lovely sound of the cash register ringin' up another sale.

Now...lest you begin to worry that I've gone over the edge, and you may have to stop reading this Blog for fear of not wanting to associate with a crazy person, I told two friends about it, and now they are as addicted as I. It is not our fault that we arise first thing in the morning and race to turn on the computer to feed fish...FAKE fish!... feel badly when a fish...a FAKE fish...goes belly up... begin to feel sorry that we are making 200 year old fish have more babies...

It is the draw of the "cha-ching" of the cash register that draws us...the glory of being a successful Fish Tycoon...or the pathetic possibility that this latest obsession brings new meaning to the phrase: gotta get a life!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Four Peeves...

Yep, I could go on and on...and on some more about all the things that bug me. But, so you won't fall into a deep coma while reading away, I shall limit them...this blog entry just four. Ready? Good! Here we go! Oh, by the way, they are not in any particular order. They all bug me about the same...which would be a lot since I'm devoting an entire blog entry to them! Now we are going!

Number 1... The way the local TV news has teasers about stories that sound VERY interesting and then runs them not just at 11PM but at 11:25PM...and THEN! tell you nothing that you didn't already know! Like about pillows. I stayed awake until 11:25 to find out that it doesn't matter the price of the pick what you like. Well, NEWS FLASH here! That's the problem! What criteria do I use to find what I like? The teaser said: Learn how to buy a pillow...does price matter? Did they tell me that? Nope...all they told me was that some people like expensive pillows...some like the cheaper $8 ones. Well, duh! That's why they make pillows in all price ranges...

Number 2... People who cut in front of me and then poke along. This peeve actually encompasses a lot. People who rush up to the ATM machine...and then stand there for minutes on end while the line backs up behind them. Then they don't even apologize for hogging the machine. Or in the grocery store... They rush up to the line...only to either have 23 coupons or not enough money or a declined credit card. Or people in cars who pull out in front of me only to poke along at 20 miles per hour under the speed limit. Gads...if you could haul ass from a dead stop to cut in front of me, then for goodness sake, put the pedal to the metal, and haul ass down the road.

Number 3... People who make my phone ring and then hang up when they hear my voice. Fine...ya dialed a wrong number. At least say: Sorry...I dialed a wrong number. Don't just leave me with dead air after I went running to pick you up.

Number 4... Buying eggs. go through carton after carton and there's always at least one or two broken before you find one that has all twelve (or eighteen in my case) that are fine. Then when the checker rings them up...they practically toss them to the bagger, who drops them into the sack only to put the bottle of V8 juice on top. Can you tell I went grocery shopping to my favorite store today?

Okay...that's four. And you know what? Four was just about enough. I really didn't have any more that I could think of offhand. That's not so bad. Then again...try me tomorrow! I bet I can come up with another four...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Anybody got the time...

I love clocks! Any kind of clock. Grandfather, coo-coo, digital, fancy, plain. Heck, I even LOVE the song, CLOCKS, by Coldplay! About the only exception to this list would be alarm clocks. Those, while they probably serve a very useful purpose, can just go.

I personally have no less than 12 clocks scattered throughout my home. And probably have about four wristwatches that actually work, and another three or four that need the battery replaced.

So, you are probably thinking that I always know the time. And you'd be correct...I can almost always tell you within 10-15 minutes what the time is. Oh, it's not cuz I am constantly looking at all these clocks. As a matter of fact, any one who knows me will gleefully tell you that I am always a couple minutes (at least...sometimes more, I admit it...) behind schedule.

But see...there is a very good reason for this. Not one of the clocks I own is synchronized. And to make matters worse, I don't think even ONE of them actually has the correct time. Yes...they are all within a few minutes of being correct. But even my one clock that is supposed to be anatomically (hmm...that's not the right able to reset itself based on the GMT clock...) correct is four minutes fast.

The clock is my car is fifteen minutes fast. I used to try and correct it, but it kept creeping up until it'd hit that magic 15-minute-fast mark and then hold. I let it win. The clock in my bath is twelve minutes fast.

Lest you begin to think all my clocks are fast, let me reassure you, they are not. Case in point: I am currently looking at four clocks... one says 56 minutes after the hour, one says, 57 minutes after the hour, and a third says 58 minutes after. Hmmm...the fourth one appears to have given up the competition and has stopped. Guess I'll add a new battery to my grocery list...

With the way time whizzes by anyway, do I really need all these clocks to make me more aware of it? it because I have all these clocks, that I know how fast it goes by even though I can't do a thing to slow it down...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What a difference a month makes...

April was travel month. I was only home ten days the entire month. And for all of those days, I was sick. But that is not really what I wanted to "talk" about here. (I was just shamelessly hunting for some sympathy...)

When I left on my first trip, it was still Standard Time. Light about 5:15AM, dark by 6:00PM. Five minutes before my departure time, I raced around the house and changed about 95% of my clocks since the time was due to change while I was away. So even though I was well aware the time had changed, when I got home, it felt very strange having it dark in the morning and light at night. But, it's certainly a change I like.

Then in the middle of the month, I left for another ten-day trek. Nothing was in bloom yet, the hills were kinda turning brown. While I was away, we apparently had some rain. And WOW! Spring sprung!!!

The hills are green again. The wildflowers along the freeway are in full bloom. Trees have new, green, shiny leaves! Front yards are ablaze with groundcovers that almost glow fluorescent in their pinks, reds, and purples. Even in my backyard, all seventeen of my rosebushes are blooming.

Everywhere you look, there is new life. That is one of the reasons I so love Spring. It is a new beginning, a fresh start. The trick is to remember to take a minute or two and enjoy the show! Because like everything else in life, it's short, it's precious, and it doesn't last nearly long enough.